How To Avoid The Fast Food Overload Thats Creating The Obesity Epidemic

Your family is not alone if most of your meals consist of pizza, burgers, and chicken purchased at fast food chains. You can't drive down a street without seeing a fast food place, and it's that convenience they rely on. With our fast-paced lives, it is easy to make a stop at a drive-thru window, as opposed to going home at the end of the day and making a meal. With this mindset, it's no wonder that obesity is a huge problem facing a great deal of families these days, as fast food is usually full of fat and salt, not to mention lacking in vitamins and minerals. There are many alternatives, however, which are much healthier and are still as convenient as going through a drive-thru window at your favorite fast food restaurant. More and more food companies are making ready to eat meals, or at least ready to heat meals, which are much healthier and provide more variety than relying on that burger place down the road when you're short on time.

Check out your grocer's freezer section, and make sure to go down the prepared food aisle. By making one trip to the grocery store, rather than several trips to the local fast food establishment, you can save money on gas as well. Your budget and your family, and perhaps your waistline, will thank you for choosing this route.

Sometimes, though, there really is no choice but to eat out. Thankfully, restaurants are attempting to provide more healthful choices besides the standard burger and French fries. It is not uncommon to have a choice of a side salad, baked potato, or even baked potato chips to replace your fries.

They also offer full-size salads, which are definitely more healthful, as long as you don't go overboard on the toppings! If you're tired of burgers, you could always try the grilled chicken sandwiches, wraps, or deli style sandwiches, which are often lower in fat. But it's still a good idea to limit your fast food meals to special treats, as nothing really replaces the nutrition of a home cooked meal. By choosing to prepare a home cooked meal for your family, not only will you be doing something to stem the obesity epidemic in this country, you will also be getting to spend valuable time with them. Think of how much more fun it is to sit around a table and talk about your day, rather than standing in line or waiting in your car at a fast food place. By being more proactive in your approach to meals, you will be able to provide more healthful choices, and possibly get in some valuable together time you might miss out on.

It's really a win-win situation all around, so it can't hurt to stop by your local grocer and see what they have to offer.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as food gift baskets at

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